Wednesday, May 17th, 2023


Adam Finch is tapping into the cricketing knowledge of Worcestershire legend Phil Newport as he looks to continue his development as a bowler after registering his first five-for against Glamorgan at Cardiff.

Finch was encouraged by Worcestershire Head Coach, Alan Richardson, to talk to Newport because he felt the pair had similar actions and any bits of information the 22-year-old could pick up would only be beneficial.

Newport was a key member of the successful Worcestershire side of the late 1980s and early 1990s and finished with 825 first class wickets at 26.88 and 314 List A at 25.05 for the County in a memorable career in which he won three England Test caps.

He is now Head Of Cricket at RGS Worcester and has been delighted to pass on his experiences to Finch on several occasions.

Finch confirmed: “You try to take bits from people in the game, opposition bowlers, ex-players, whoever, and one person I’ve spoken to quite a bit from the back end of last year is Phil Newport.

“Richo (Alan Richardson) gave me the kind of nudge to talk to him because he mentioned we were kind of similar in terms of our actions.

“I’ve had a good few discussions with Newps (Newport) about different things. There have been times I’ve texted him and asked if we can go for a chat over a coffee.

“His recommendations I’ve implemented, first while I was away in Australia this winter and then carried on through the summer now.

“I’ve tweaked them in my own way to be successful for me because I don’t think you can copy and paste what someone does and be as good as them.

“You can take little pieces of information which are relevant to yourself and try and use it in the best way.

“There are lots of different things. We’ve talked about how he would hold the ball and his mindset around taking wickets and influencing the game, which was really interesting to hear.

“He had a real ruthless mindset when it came to that, and it was really good to pick his brains and see how he thought.

“Hopefully it is making an impact, and it is one of those things where, even if it doesn’t make an impact immediately, it is something you could fall back on in the future.”

Finch admitted: “I was aware of Phil although I was slightly naïve as to the depths of his achievements.

“But it reminded me how fortunate we are that there are a lot of great ex-players who are still in the area who have a vast amount of information on county cricket.

“I hadn’t played a great deal at New Road in comparison to some people, and having Newps there to talk about what it is like playing at New Road is awesome – and it’s the same with Richo, who has played there a lot as well.

“Just having that kind of pool of information around you….you kind of sometimes forget how fortunate you are.

“Phil came down to one of the Royal London Cup games last year, and I came off the pitch and had received a text from me in which he broke down all my ten overs.

He didn’t have to do that or take an interest like that, and that shows how good he is and how much of a legend he is.

“It was really useful information and things I hadn’t even thought about. There were little helpful hints and reminders about specific things which was really useful.”

Finch is looking to build on his two senior performances this season against Durham and Glamorgan and he returned a career best 5-74 at Sophia Gardens.

He said: “It feels like a really nice step in the right direction, and it was a nice sense of relief and pride and a day I’ll remember for a long while.

“A few of the lads knew that it was my first five-for. Josh (Tongue) was really great. He was at mid off and, when I got my fourth wicket, he knew exactly what I was thinking.

“He knew that I knew I was only one wicket away, and he did really well to keep me calm, reminding me not to chase it and stay in the present and just to keep doing the things I’d done to get the other four wickets and it would come.

“Just a massive sense of relief. I didn’t know what to do with myself. You think of those moments in your head, and, when they come, you don’t really know what to do.

“I was just really happy, the lads were happy, were really encouraging, lots of congratulations, a really nice moment.

“Is it the equivalent of a batter getting that first hundred? I was thinking about that the other day. I’m not really sure of what the equivalent is, but that would be a similar kind of comparison.

“Is it an ambition to pick up more five-fors? Definitely the ambition, but it’s difficult to chase them. I’m not going to let myself go and try and chaser five-fors.

“I’m just going to keep the mindset that I went into the game with, which was to try my best to make a positive impact for the team and contribute in any way that I could on that given day, and that stood me in good stead then.

“There is no reason why it won’t keep standing me in good stead. If you chase runs or chase wickets, you can become too immersed in that and forget the process of how you did it in the first place.”

Finch maintains he has always had faith and confidence in his ability if he had the opportunity to demonstrate it at first team level.

He said: “Myself and Richo have spoken about that topic a good amount. There definitely isn’t a lack of confidence in my own ability.

“I just haven’t been fortunate enough to feature in the team as much as I would have liked, to get more confidence from consistently performing and being in an environment where you get used to it and take confidence from that.

“It’s just having the opportunities to reinforce those beliefs, which this last week has done.” 

Finch believes it will not be long before his Worcestershire team-mate and fellow pace bowler, Ben Gibbon, achieves his first five-for after starting the campaign in encouraging form.

He said: Ben deserves it, and he works really hard for us, and if you ever ask any of the lads about that, he just loves bowling and will run in all day if you didn’t take the ball out of his hands.

“I see it happening for him soon. He has a real hunger and drive for the game which is great to see, and he has developed so well and takes in all the information you get thrown at you when you are new to the environment like he was.

“Consistently getting better, which is all you can ask yourself to do, and all you can hope. If he keeps doing the right things, no doubt it will happen for him.

“He is a really likeable lad and is starting to show his real personality, which is nice to see. As you expect, his first year a little bit quiet and now we are starting to see him blossom and get involved with the lads, which is really nice.”